As part of our Driver and Operation of the Year events held in Des Moines, IA, last week, we had the opportunity to honor our top drivers and operations, as well as name the 2022 Driver of the Year and 2022 Operation of the Year.
Driver of the Year
Leland Hildebrandt, who operates out of Muscatine, IA, was named Ruan’s 2022 Driver of the Year! He has been with Ruan since 2004 and has driven professionally for 41 years. He serves our valued customer, HNI, and hauls products locally. Leland is a team player, is committed to doing everything with a safety focus, ensures that every single load and customer delivery experience is handled with care, and always has a positive attitude.
HNI’s factory manager said this about Leland in a letter of recommendation: “His dedication to ensuring that his scheduled moves are completed on time and in the safest manner is truly remarkable. Leland’s customer service skills are exceptional. I have witnessed Leland multiple times coaching and helping his fellow drivers with either advice or guidance on moving a trailer or helping with directions. Leland is always willing to go the extra mile to provide the highest level of service.”
The search for Ruan’s 2022 Driver of the Year began in April when 162 drivers from Ruan’s 300 operations were named finalists based on their safety performance, industry experience, exceptional customer service, and more. Following an extensive review process, 12 of these finalists were named to our 2022 Winners’ Circle, and we proudly welcomed them to Des Moines to be celebrated. During their time in Des Moines, the honorees toured the Des Moines Campus, shared insights on safety, technology, retention, recruiting, and equipment, networked with leaders and support teams, and were celebrated every step of the way.
Leland was named the Driver of the Year at an award ceremony at the World Food Prize Hall of Laureates. “Although many of us in our industry do not seek out the spotlight, it is important to recognize excellence and honor your dedication, professionalism, safety focus, and your unwavering commitment to your Ruan teammates and our customers,” CEO Ben McLean told the Winners’ Circle at the ceremony.
Each Winners’ Circle honoree was awarded a trophy and cash prize. Leland was presented a trophy, $5,000, and the 2022 Driver of the Year title.
Operation of the Year
To kick off our Operation of the Year selection process, each Ruan vice president of operations identified finalists as the top performers in their business units. From the 11 finalists, our executive leadership team narrowed the list to three Winners’ Circle honorees: Marianna, FL, Des Moines, IA, and York, PA. Our Operation of the Year Winners’ Circle was selected based on customer satisfaction, continuous improvement and innovation, commitment to our Megasafe culture, and overall performance. The managers of the three operations attended our Driver and Operation of the Year events.
From the Winners’ Circle, our Marianna, FL, operation that serves Publix Super Markets and is led by Dedicated Transportation Manager Brent Golden was named the 2022 Operation of the Year! Ruan delivers dry groceries and refrigerated and frozen foods to stores in the Florida panhandle and coastal Alabama area. This operation lives out our Guiding Principles of People First, Safety Focus, Exceptional Performance, Customer Satisfaction, and Continuous Improvement every day.
The 2022 Operation of the Year received a trophy and a celebration for all operation team members, which will take place later this year.
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2022 Driver of the Year Winners' Circle